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Thursday, September 7, 2000

Whitharral seeks revenge on Bears

PECOS, Sept. 7, 2000 -- This is a game the Whitharral Panthers have been waiting a year  to play.

The second-ranked Panthers have been waiting since Labor Day weekend of 1999 to get another shot at the Balmorhea Bears, after Balmorhea rallied from 20 points down to defeat them with a "Hail Mary" pass on the final play of their neutral-site game at Grady. Friday night, they'll get their chance, while the Bears will have a shot to move a long ways up in the state six-man football rankings, when they travel to Whitharral for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Isaiah Rodriguez hit Ryan Clark with a 25-yard touchdown pass as time expired, then threw to Adriel Ramon for the game-winning conversion as the Bears rallied from a 34-14 deficit in the third period to win, 35-34. Rodriguez and Ramon are back this year for Balmorhea, but Whitharral has all but one of their players returning from a year ago, which helped get them a No. 2 ranking in the 2000 preseason six-man l poll.

The Panthers didn't hurt their ranking any in their season opener this past Friday, as they defeated Happy by a 52-0 final score, in a game ended at halftime under the 45-point rule. Meanwhile, Balmorhea had an impressive start to their season as well, posting a 48-0 victory at home over Buena Vista in a game that ended under the 45-point rule when Rodriguez ran the second half kickoff back for a touchdown.

Whitharral's Jared Dockery threw two first period touchdown passes in last Friday's win, while Brandon Hoskins caught one of those passes and added an eight-yard run in the opening period, which ended with the Panthers holding a 38-0 lead.

Dockery was one of the main players in last year's game for Whitharral, but the Bears' biggest problems came trying to handle running back Steven Lopez, who ran for 100 yards and scored three touchdowns in the first three periods, before being shut down by the Bears during their fourth quarter rally.

Balmorhea was able to stay on the ground for the most part in their opening win over Buena Vista, gaining 274 of their 319 yards on the ground. Rodriguez and Roman ran for 92 and 91 yards respectively, while Billy Lozano added 79 yards rushing for the Bears, while their defense limited the Longhorns to just 48 yards on the ground and 70 yards overall in the game.

Friday's game begins a rough four-week stretch for Balmorhea. They'll take on Sands at Ackerly next week, and then host Dell City in a non-district game before facing former District 8-A rival Grandfalls on Sept. 29, to close out their pre-district schedule.

Eagles head to El Paso tourney

PECOS, Sept. 7, 2000 -- The Pecos Eagles' varsity tennis team will be making the first of  their three trips to the El Paso area during the fall season this week, as  they compete in the Americas High School Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Pecos will be facing mostly Class 5A schools and those from District 1-4A on this trip, while their other two visits to El Paso will come next month, for a District 2-4A match against Mountain View and for the district tournament on Oct. 20-21.

Coach Bernadette Ornelas said 14 teams were entered in the tournament, and the Eagles drew an opening round bye. "We'll play the winner of El Paso High and El Paso Andress on Friday at 9 a.m.," she said.

Pecos is seeded fourth in the tournament field, behind the host Trailblazers, El Paso Hanks and El Paso Burges. The teams will face each other in singles and doubles matches, with play continuing through to the title match on Saturday.

"Overall right now the team is looking pretty solid," Ornelas said. "The kids are really looking forward to going to the tournament in El Paso, because they know they'll get a lot of playing time on the court."

Pecos began its fall season two weeks ago by splitting their matches against Seminole and Brownfield. The Eagles will have a slightly different line-up in both the boys and girls brackets this weekend, and Ornelas said she would take the Top 8 players both sides to El Paso for the tournament.

"Right now, we're having weekly challenge dates to determine the seeding for all the players," she said. On the boys' side, freshman Trent Graham will play at No. 1 seed this weekend, while junior Rebecca Wein will be No. 1 seed for the girls in singles play at El Paso.

Graham and Bobby Sotelo will be paired at No. 1 doubles for the boys, with Wein paired with Brenda Fuentes as No. 1 doubles.

Sub-varsity teams face Stockton

PECOS, Sept. 7, 2000 -- Week 2 of the 2000 season for five of Pecos' six sub-varsity  teams opens the same way as Week 1 did, though against a  different opponent and, in the case of Pecos' seventh grade  football players, under game conditions this time around.

Pecos' seventh graders will be on the road for the second straight week, going to Fort Stockton for their official season opener against the Panthers. The Eagles' freshmen will also be on the road today at Fort Stockton, while Pecos' junior varsity and eighth grade teams will play at home for the second week in a row, as they host Fort Stockton. The junior high games will start at 4 and 5:30 p.m. while the freshman and JV contests are scheduled for 6 p.m. starts.

Pecos split four games last week with Kermit, while the seventh graders won a pair of scrimmages against the Yellowjackets, in what had been listed on the schedule as the teams' season openers. The `B' team won by a 1-0 score and the `A' team posted a 2-0 win, coach Robbie Ortega said.

The eighth graders split their season openers against Kermit, winning the `B' game 8-0 while falling in the `A' contest by a 14-12 final score. The Jackets also won the season opening freshman game in Pecos, 16-0, while the Eagles' JV took their opener over Kermit by a 20-14 final score.

The Eagles' varsity will be on the road for the second straight week, playing at Fort Stockton on Friday starting at 7:30 p.m. Pecos kicked off its season by defeating Kermit last week, 25-6, while Friday's game will be the 2000 season opener for the Panthers, who beat the Eagles at home a year ago, 17-14.

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Pecos Enterprise
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